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Where In The World Do Colors Come From?

From the Berlin-born Prussian blue to Nantucket red (giveaway), this infographic maps out the geographical origins of shades of colors.

Where In The World Do Colors Come From?
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The emotional associations and cultural histories of colors have been well-documented on Co.Design–but what about the geographical histories of colors? For Lapham’s Quarterly‘s fashion issue, designer Haisam Hussein reinvents the color wheel to show where various shades of colors were invented–from Int’l Klein Blue (Paris) to Scheele’s Green (Sweden), Turmeric (India), and Mauve (London).

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See the full graphic hereLapham’s Quarterly

Alongside the graphic itself are the origin stories for each color, which, as we’ve seen before, can be less than appetizing. White Lead, for instance, was created in Japan circa the year 700 by exposing lead sheets to vinegar and fermenting horse manure–then used by the elite class as face powder. Tyrian purple is derived from the secretions of sea snails, and Orchil (Florence) dye is made from dried and ground lichen that is activated with ammonia, such as that from urine.

See the full graphic hereLapham’s Quarterly

To see the full map, visit Lapham’s website here.

About the author

Meg Miller is an associate editor at Co.Design covering art, technology, and design.

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